Upset-Minded NC State Travels to Virginia: NCAAB Free Picks

Willie Bee

Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:08 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 1:08 PM UTC

Coming off a couple of upset wins and home, the NC State Wolfpack travel to Virginia has 15 point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds.

My Free Pick: NC State-Virginia Under 133
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage
[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3337427, "sportsbooksIds":[169,93,19,1096,999996], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Home life on the ACC schedule has been sweet for Kevin Keats and North Carolina State, the Wolfpack pulling off a pair of upsets in Raleigh over Duke and Clemson in the last week. Playing on the road has been an entirely different story, however, and that’s where NC State is today with a matchup against the conference-leading Virginia Cavaliers.

The 147th collision between the old foes gets underway at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville at 6 PM (ET) on ESPNU, and a quick check of the NCAA basketball odds board finds the Cavaliers favored by 15. The total is 133 for a pair of teams with direct opposite trends in ACC action, the Wolfpack 3-1 O/U and Virginia 1-3.

Cavs Looking For 1st 5-0 ACC Start Since ‘15
Keats and NC State got quick revenge with Clemson on Thursday, the Wolfpack posting a 78-77 victory in a game Bookmaker closed them +4. They dropped their ACC opener at Clemson, 78-62, and made up the 16-point difference primarily from 3-point range, hitting 5-of-22 beyond the arc in the loss and 10-of-21 in the win. North Carolina State is expected to have Markell Johnson back for this contest, the sophomore guard sitting the last seven due to a suspension.

Nobody is tougher to score on than Tony Bennett’s club, and it’s not even close. Virginia is allowing just 53 points per game, more than five ahead of 2nd-place Cincinnati, and the high-water mark was 68 on the road at West Virginia. North Carolina found out how tough the Cavaliers are on defense about a week ago in a 61-49 final, and NC State hasn’t scored more than 55 against the Cavaliers in the last three meetings.

Series Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
The Wolfpack and Cavaliers have been playing each other for 105 years, and it’s NC State with the 82-64 advantage. Virginia has been paring that gap down, however, by winning the last five meetings and 10 of the last 12. During the Cavaliers’ current 5-game win streak, the ‘Pack hasn’t been able to score more than 55 points, which is exactly what they scored last year in Raleigh where the Cavs left with a 70-55 decision as 6½ point favorites. All five Virginia victories stayed ‘under’ totals in the 122-134 point range, and four of the seven Cavaliers home games carrying totals this year fell short of the marks.

It’s the defense on NC State’s side that will determine whether the Cavaliers cover as well as the ‘over/under.’ For my free college basketball pick, I’m going with the low side of the total.

Season: 22-28-1 (-7.40)

comment here